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Essential Classic X-Men - Volume 1 Paperback – Jul 21 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 21 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; New edition edition (July 21 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785109919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785109914
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 3.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #400,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Essential Classic X-Men - Volume 1

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Marvel gets lots of flak for the format of their Essential editions: I can agree with the mid-stream format change - just like the Masterworks, you have to start over if you want a uniform set. I can also agree with the flimsy paper, to a degree, as it tears easily during the binding process. The ink bleed results in ghost images on facing pages. And the lack of color leaves out some of the visual appeal. Yet, with all of this, I still LOVE this line, as it is hands-down the cheapest way to educate yourself on the Silver Age of Marvel Comics. I will gladly pay the low price for these 500-page books!
Anyway, on to the meat of this volume: Uncanny X-Men #1 - 24, by Lee, Kirby, Thomas, Gavin, et al. I guess most folks today prefer post-Giant-Size-X-Men, but whatever your preference, check out this book, as this is where it all began! These stories are from the early '60s, so of course the dialogue is cheesy; of course the characterizations are stereotyped; but by gum, you just can't get innovative stories like this anymore. Here we have the original X-Men, as kids no less, setting the stage for the uneasy coexistence of humanity and mutants. It's super-hero action combined with teen angst, and some little oddities that, to my knowledge, were not carried into later issues (Professor X loves teen-age Jean Grey? Eeeugh!). Featured villains include, in their first appearances, Magneto, the Blob, the Vanisher, Unus, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Juggernaut, the Sentinels, Lucifer, Mimic, and the Stranger, plus a few others I won't mention. Plus, you get a great Kirbyesque cover by Bruce Timm (this guy should do all of the covers for Kirby's reprints).
The Marvel Essentials line is one of the best bargains in comics. Why not fill your shelves with them?
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Format: Paperback
I am a newcomer to the X-Men mythology, having discovered these unforgettable mutants through the Hugh Jackson films. The films incorporate (and take many liberties with) the 25+ years of the X-Men which has made reading the comics a vastly different (but enjoyable) experience. Here follows a summary of what to expect in volume 1 of THE UNCANNY X-MEN. (Possible spoilers.)
Our superheroes and their lives and powers are varied:
~Robert (Bobby) Drake, Iceman. The youngest member of the group with a sense of humor that compliments that of Hank McCoy's.
~Hank McCoy, Beast. The most intellectual, humorous, and athletic.
~Warren Worthington III, Angel. Wealthy, charismatic, and in love with Jean Grey. He is the one with wings.
~Scott Summers, Cyclops. The most tragic (because of the intense power of his eyes) and the most respected (the deputy leader of the X-Men) and in love with Jean.
~Jean Grey, Marvel Girl. Telekinetic (also telepathic, but that is not revealed in this volume), the only female member, and forced to choose between Scott and Warren.
~Charles Xavier, Professor X. A wheelchair-bound mutant whose telepathic powers make him one of the most formidable and most powerful of all mutants. He not only founded the X-Men and leads them, but created the school Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters (where mutants go to learn to control and refine their powers and abilities).
Volume 1 contains issues 1-24. The X-Men fight several of their memorable villians:
~Magneto (The X-Men's archenemy, enough said.)
~Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Mastermind, Toad, and siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver) who work for Magneto.
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Format: Paperback
"The Uncanny X-Men" were always my favorite Marvel Superhero group and it was not just because they were younger than the Fantastic Four and the Avengers the way Spider-Man was younger than Captain America and Daredevil. I mean, the FF were driven by the walking tragedy of Ben Grimm as the Thing and the great villains, why the Avengers started out as the Marvel version of the Justice League of America with the best of the best and then deteriorated into those superheroes who did not have their own comics. But the X-Men were victims of persecution and prejudice because they were mutants. The metaphor for teenage angst and the joys of puberty was just too obvious not to work. Plus they had a bald headed guy in charge.
"The Essential Uncanny X-Men" presents the first twenty-four issues of the comic book, which starts with the creative team of writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby but ends with Roy Thomas and Werner Roth. Issue #1 provides one of the better foundations for a Marvel comic. We begin with Professor Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children in Westchester County, where Jean Grey breaks the boy's only barrier as Marvel Girl (the all time worst name for a superhero Stan Lee ever came up with). The original roster of the group, for those who cannot remember back any farther than the rebirth under Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, consisted of not only Professor X's power to read minds and project thoughts and Marvel Girl's telekinesis, but the agility and strength of the brilliant Hank McCoy, the Beast; the fully functional wings of rich boy Warren Worthington III, Angel; the walking snow cone Bobby Drake, the Iceman (who originally looked like a snowman); and the power means that shot out of the eyes of the group's field leader Scott Summer, Cyclops.
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